This Week’s Been A Gas!

We’re slowly settling into our new place, but, like the nocturnal swamp shuttle, there are still a few kinks to work out.  Y’know, little issues like sewer gas.

Sewer gas wafts into corners and creeps along floors and trickles down stairwells, making it nearly impossible to trace its origin.  So I was nosing through the house snuffling like a deranged bloodhound and muttering, “Dammit, I smell sewer gas!” while Hubby, who lacks my sensitive sniffer, thought I was going crazy(er).

I finally figured it out by posing myself a simple question:  “What’s the stupidest thing our homebuilder could have done?”

Yep, nailed it on my first try.  They had routed sewer vent lines up to the second floor for the future bathroom, left the lines uncapped, and then installed the plywood subfloor over top.  So the longer we used the septic system, the more the house reeked of decomposing shit.

It wasn’t a huge chore to saw open the floor and cap the lines, but the whole episode definitely impaired my sense of humour for a while.

Then again, my sense of humour is usually a little messed up:

Hubby, my evil enabler, bought us three big bags of Kernels popcorn.  While we were happily munching, we noticed that their plain popcorn looks like home-popped corn, while the caramel popcorn is puffed up into near-perfect spheres.  (And aren’t you impressed that I didn’t even make a dirty joke about chowing down on tasty balls?  Good Lord, I must be growing up.)

Anyhow, I wondered if caramel corn is actually a different variety of popcorn.  Turns out it’s not; but I got as far as “why is” in my Google search when their top four searches popped (sorry) up:


It makes sense that a lot of people might wonder about the sky; and since I don’t have kids I can’t knowledgeably dispute the importance of Caillou’s baldness.  But green poop is the third most common internet search?  Are that many people pushing out technicolor turds?

And I didn’t think the FBI showed up at people’s doors frequently enough to warrant fourth place; but even if they do, I wouldn’t have thought people’s reaction would be, “Oh, hang on, Mr. Cranky Gun-Toting Lawman.  I realize by the way you kicked down my door that you might be in a teensy bit of a hurry, but I just want to do an internet search before you drag me away…”

The next giggle happened when we were getting ready to configure my step-mom’s new FitBit.  I looked up the installation procedure, read the first step, and laughed.

Maybe I should kiss it first…

You’ve gotta love it when the first item on the configuration list sounds like a kinky sex act.

And speaking of dongles and related words, I ran across this vintage game in a little store:

From a more innocent time…

I probably wouldn’t have snickered quite so much if I hadn’t just researched gender reassignment surgery (don’t ask why; you know how my internet searches tend to go down oddball rabbit holes).  I discovered that they usually use a skin graft from the forearm to construct a new penis, and one of the potential complications is ‘hairy urethra’.  So you really can end up with a wooly willy…

Okay, I’ll stop now.

How’s it hanging for you this week?

68 thoughts on “This Week’s Been A Gas!

  1. Concur. Adventure? No thanks. I gave at the office. And everywhere else. I’ve served my time. Been there, etc. Boring rocks. I speak with a good bit of authority here. PSA off. Now back to the regularly scheduled hilarity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for the bloodhound! I think I might have killed the contractor. I’m much nastier than you.
    Why is the FBI here? Well we are going to Mexico next week and will be driving across the US border. I may be Googling that myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sewer gas, if properly controlled, is a very effective way to restrict the visits of unwanted guests who overstay their welcome. Green poop and big bags of Kernels popcorn, on the other hand, will extend visitor stays, especially if the visitors include small children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The nice, spacious crawl space would allow an obfuscationally complex system of valves and piping under the living space so that the, er, selective guest vacator can be deployed without suspicion. (Yep, outta be patentable, Diane. It’s all yours. “The Henders SGV System, guaranteed to Delouse Your House and evict unwanted guests who have overstayed their welcome!” But remember, you heard it here first!)

      When the overdue-to-leave guests have bedded down for the night, just fire up the laptop, click on the innocuous icon, say, a portrait of a rabid woodchuck or perhaps a much-too-amorous moose, and let the fun begin…while you and hubby pull the covers up and go blissfully to sleep…inside your hermetically sealed bedroom.

      In the morning, when the overdue-to-leave guests troop downstairs for breakfast, you and hubby glance at each other, wrinkle your noses at the terrible smell, and ask whichever one appears to be the most prim and proper, “Jeez, did you forget how to flush the freakin’ toilet, or what?”

      Then Hubby pipes up, “Holey bovines! Am I gonna hafta snake the drains clear to Nova Scotia? W


    • True enough! Unfortunately I have the most sensitive sniffer of anyone I know; and I had a houseguest last week who couldn’t smell the sewer gas at all. I was glad to have her here, but if I ever do get an undesirable housepest, I’ll clearly have to do better than a few whiffs of sewer gas.


  4. Thanks for the evening giggles. That Google search is too funny. But the sewage smell isn’t. Ugh. Hope it’s cleared out for you now. Bet you were burning some candles after that incident!


  5. Glad it’s working out for you, finally! And yes, life is much better now than it was then. Long ago and far away, as it were. Here and now, we got a pretty sweet deal goin’. 🙂

    And you mentioned other plumbing leaks, too? No wonder your writing time has disappeared. Even as glad as we will be when all that stuff is behind you, I know we won’t be as glad as you will!

    I’ve had a couple of 5k+ days lately. And I just thought I was nearly through. 🙂


    • It never ends! (And admit it: You don’t really want it to, do you?) 😉

      Yes, the house process has been a disappointment and a giant time-suck. We were sold a bill of goods about how “the pieces are delivered and three weeks later you move into a completely finished house”. Bullshit. Three months later we’re still nagging them to fix the deficiencies, and half the time we end up doing the work ourselves because it’s easier than waiting weeks only to have them send tradespeople who do such crap work that we have to fix it anyway.

      But we shall prevail! Sooner or later we’ll run out of repairs… theoretically, at least…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There are two things in this post, Diane, that I know I have definitely never had. Caramel Corn and green poop. Neither of which would appear in my search results either. I did have a dodgy dongle once, however, which made it a bit tricky getting in. (And before you utter another word, it was a dongle for opening electronically sealed doors which wasn’t recognised by the console-thingy the dongle had to be presented to).
    Hope you’ve sorted out your gas issues. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll beat Some Random Guy to say, your draft must be at 99% or less it is so close to 100%. Will you go back to your photographers who did your other covers for this book (and presumably any future books in the series)? I am wishing you good proofreading and other editing, cover design and production. I promise to be patient while these last important elements take place. (Just hurry up, already!) 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I also noticed that the kernels of caramel corn are perfect spheres without hard bits of un-popped areas, large bits of outer casing designed to get caught between teeth, or big multi-lobed popcorn. I’d wondered how they achieved such a perfect shape that takes the caramel so perfectly, but I never had adequate curiosity to do more research. Only you, Diane.

    I once did get a panic call from my best friend once asking me if I knew why her poop was suddenly green. I asked her what was different lately in her food selection. It turned out that she had succumbed to a large bag of black licorice and had not saved any for another day. It wasn’t the old fashioned licorice made primarily from flour and molasses, it was the nasty modern junk that is all corn syrup and artificial color. Of course being black, and having no molasses to make it so black, it was a very high dose of artificial colors that colored everything else along its path. That’ll teach her to never binge on fake licorice again. Apparently there are plenty of people who have binged on artificially colored licorice to gain such a high placement on the Google search. The FBI bit? I’m as shocked as you. Police-maybe, Bomb squad- certainly if you have a brother as warped as mine, but FBI?? I thought the FBI just makes lists and puts your name on it- especially if you are of the “peace and love” generation and your activities included some sit-ins and flag burnings. Not me, just two of my older siblings. In my family every other kid pushed hard at the parental boundaries except the last kid. My baby brother watched his elder siblings and had the wisdom to decide he had no need to make similar mistakes.

    I’m happy you located and fixed the uncapped sewer stack. Yuk! How could someone overlook that! I wouldn’t know what to do if that happened to me. Good work, Diane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! 🙂 Your licorice story made me laugh! Black licorice is the one food that I still haven’t learned to appreciate, so it’s good to know that I have another excuse not to eat it.

      The popcorn thing was fascinating: Apparently if the kernels are heated faster, to a higher temperature, they’ll explode into those spherical shapes (technical term: “mushroom popcorn”, as opposed to the traditional “butterfly popcorn”). So since caramel (melted sugar) reaches a higher temperature than butter or oil, you get “mushroom” caramel corn. There is an expensive hybrid popcorn that has a much higher probability of popping into mushroom popcorn, but almost all of the commercially popped corn is the same stuff we have in our own kitchens.

      And now I want some more caramel corn – yum!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, the popcorn kernels are two different varieties altogether. For some odd reason, hubby and I had looked this up about a month ago. The mushroom shape ends up being less fragile, so it’s preferred for caramel corn, and the butterfly for movie theater/butter. I think that the mushroom style is harder to buy in the stores though, although I’m sure Amazon would have it.
        You have the oddest home adventures, Diane. Makes me look downright boring. Not that I’m complaining.


  9. In response to your last question: low and to the right, thank you.
    It’s a good thing you are a human bloodhound. Nothing worse than a smell that shouldn’t be where it is. Finding it under the floor is impressive. I have found some where someone ran a nail into a pipe on a couple of occasions. At least it is all relatively easy to fix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could take credit for locating the open pipes by scent alone; but the truth is that I drafted the construction drawings so I knew the rough-ins would be there, and their locations were marked on the floor. And it still took me quite a while to figure out they’d been left uncapped because I just couldn’t believe anybody would pull a stunt like that – I was sniffing along all the vent lines in the attic expecting to find a loose connection up there. If you can scent a nail in a pipe inside a wall, I’m suitably impressed!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s a good thing you have a good sense of smell. Shouldn’t your husband know by now that you really do smell something, after living with you this long?! (says the person with the sensitive schnoz in our household :))

    I tried the “why is” search just for fun, and your list is still there, along with (now in fourth place) “why is my internet so slow” (answer: because Diane is using it to find out All The Things) … I still find it hard to believe that second place is about Caillou’s bald head – what the what??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dang, I’m busted! Now I’ll have to stop with the searches until everybody else’s internet connection comes back up to speed. But yeah; that Caillou question was mind-boggling. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been about one of the big-name celebrities; but I guess Caillou is a superstar in a class of his own. Who knew?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I had a true laugh out loud moment in the middle of burger King, while I was waiting for food and reading your post.

    I am the same, I can smell just about anything, despite the fact I have been a smoker for over 25 years. I still have a great sense of smell.
    Not long after I moved into the flat I live in now, I could smell smoke from through 2 shut doors one of which took 3firemen 20 mins to open.
    They questioned how I had discovered it, I answered I could smell it. One joked you could smell smoke while you were having a cigarette!
    I smiled and said yes I did. And asked how much longer it would take to clear the house of the smell of smoke so I could get back inside as it was bloody cold stood outside late night in the middle of winter, wearing only a dressing gown and slippers.
    Apparently I caught it early and no damage was done


    • Wow! That’s one sensitive sniffer you’ve got! It’s lucky for you (and for the occupants of your flat) that your nose was on the job that night. Standing outside freezing your butt off kinda sucks, but I’m sure everybody was grateful that you weren’t out in the cold permanently.

      Just curious: With your keen sense of smell, do you also have an enhanced sense of taste, too? I can taste all sorts of subtleties that Hubby can’t. I always thought it was just because I do a lot of cooking so I’m more aware of flavours, but maybe it’s my sense of smell working overtime.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I gotta ask. Will the capped vent line cause problems with flushing or draining the washer during the spin cycle? My first thought was that it should have been extended through the roof and left open. You know, like it was a vent. I ask because we had that problem once.

    A hunnerd or two years ago, we looked up one day and saw a huge two-storey house coming down the highway in front of our place of business. An enormous old farm house had been bought and moved several miles from out in the middle of nowhere to the vacant two-acre corner lot across the highway from the business we owned at the time.

    Long story rendered somewhat less long, the buyer spent gobs of money on the move and the reno, and then went to prison for building a huge, multi-level, very wide-ranging swindle. And the bank we did business with was left holding the bag for the house deal, and they really took a bath.

    After all (or at least most…some?) of the legal smoke cleared, the bank found a buyer for the house. An engineer, as it turned out. He and his wife bought it for a song, spent a pile of their own money trying to finish the job…and the company that had hired him and moved him and his family to our tiny little town went belly up. And the bank got the house back. Again.

    Eventually, we ended up with the house…and found out the history of non-payment of all the contractors the first guy went through. You could tell when one contractor had bailed, because the quality of workmanship and materials dropped at each round. Then we could tell when the next owners had fixed the substandard stuff and moved on…and it was perfectly obvious where the work stopped when they left town.

    Anyway, we kept the place for years, finished it, drilled wells for the yard, got a nice lawn in, and had everything just the way it oughta be…and the bank crashed. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

    Anyway, we discovered that the place had a faint, but perfectly clear, indication of sewer problems when we moved in. I found the culprit, the aforementioned vent pipe in a finished wall. Capped it, immediately started having flushing problems and washer drain problems, cut the cap off, ran the pipe through the roof, sealed the penetration, and problem solved.

    So that’s how I know about capping sewer vent pipes in septic system plumbing. Just so you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes! That house was cursed! You’re lucky you got out of there with (most of) your skin.

      And yes, that was the first question I asked the plumber before I capped those lines. He said it shouldn’t cause a problem with draining, and so far that seems to be the case. We’re planning to finish the bathroom this summer anyway, so if we start having problems before then I’ll just run the lines up to the roof. The roof vents are already in place so it shouldn’t be a big deal (says she with misguided optimism). So far, so good… but we’re waiting for the next screwup…

      Liked by 2 people

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